The title of this blog entry is inspired by a video my best friend Lilje sent me.
Where do I even start? It’s been a crazy final semester. I wish I could have found it in me to write about my grad school experience, continuously and regularly. Not that I’m complaining because there’s still plenty of documentation on Twitter and Instagram and I’ve loved sharing my thoughts and feelings throughout this journey. It’s brought me to meeting many interesting people online, i.e. fellow scholars, talking about my research and other academic topics and feeling less like a lonely island. Sure thing, I got my amazing cohorts, but it’s nice seeing scholars from all over going through similar motions, hurdles and epiphanies.
The people who manage to do the blogging thing in addition to school and all the other stuff that comes with it, you flippin’ rock! Some are really professional, by the way, as though it’s a second job and they provide short and sweet nuggets of anecdotes and advice. I’m going to post another blog entry soon with a list of people to follow, in the blog sphere, on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve found them so inspiring, motivational and awesome.
One of my favorite things about grad school has actually been getting in touch with various scholars on social media. Maybe this sounds crazy, but it’s become more and more common for people working on their master’s, doctorate or PhD to talk about grad school online, like their research, internships and/or school-related jobs. If you search with the keywords “phdchat” or “gradschool” on Twitter, you’ll find plenty of hilarious and/or insightful tweets. If you ask me, it’s more than just venting, it’s bonding and sharing and sometimes even to self-reflect on certain moments and/or your state of mind. And frankly, chatting about grad school on social media is fun!
I could write a whole book about grad school (and perhaps I will in the future), but at the moment, I will keep this reflection brief.
The magnitude of what I have done in the past four months feels surreal right now. My thesis was my life. Hell, the last two years are a blur. It’s like I blinked and suddenly I’m about to graduate. I’m walking TODAY! Designed my cap and picked an outfit and everything. Mom is baking a prinsesstårta downstairs (“princess cake,” it’s Swedish) and I got a list of things to do with my suddenly-here extra free time. I don’t have homework anymore? What is this?
For those who don’t know, I’m graduating with a master of arts in communication.
Aside from making many fantastic friends in grad school, I’ve found my confidence. I have fallen in love with exercising, which has taken years to build up. Going to the gym and working off the inevitable stress has been such a life-saver. Plus, I can finally wear clothes that used to fit me when I was 21 (and I’m 26-going-on-27). I have traveled to a few places in Michigan (on my own!) and I have attended conferences and I have become a stronger public speaker. Gosh, and I have written a thesis! On superhero masculinity of all things! And as I’m working on the final edits, I feel like I can truly call myself a feminist scholar (intersectional feminist scholar to be exact) and that feels like an accomplishment on its own. Gender studies are so complex and fascinating and most important of all, relevant.
I may be graduating, but my work isn’t done. I got a load of research papers that I need to edit and send to publications. I have a list of things I want to write about, do research on and talk about with other scholars. I have an additional list of fictional stories I want to write, some of which were created pre-grad and some of which have grown from my studies. Not to mention that I need a job. I was thinking administration in higher education, but that’s a topic for another time.
And no, not getting a PhD. People keep asking me. I’ll be in my early 30s before I get to leave the classroom. I love learning, but I’d rather not be tied to a location right now. I want to travel and write on my own and now the whole world is my classroom.
To my fellow Grizzlies graduating this weekend, congratulations! #ThisIsOU